Friday, February 27, 2015

stop me

people. my eating habits are getting weirder and weirder. you might need to just stop me. i was SUCH a picky, simple eater growing up. hardly like vegetables. mostly survived on candy in my early adulthood. but the last few years has had me seeking to be healthy {in all kinds of ways} and my diet has been one of them. first i realized i liked tomatoes...then avocados...then sweet potatoes...asparagus...and now brussel sprouts! i eat brussel sprouts at nearly every meal these days...raw, cooked, any way i can get them. dinner lately {for me} has been brussel sprouts and shrimp sauteed with some greek seasoning in a little skillet. dinner. done. {i know. i'm TOTALLY weird. this is nothing new.}

snow days.

we've had a LOT of snow days already this year. like, so many that i can't bear to count them.

snow days are hard for me. i'm a planner. and a routine person. plus i homeschool 2 it's hard to decide if we still do school (and "ignore" the other 4 kids) or if we push our school back, too. the first few, i tried to still do school. i've given up on that now. it's too hard.

at the end of the day, as i'm falling (or not) asleep, my day always replays in my mind. most days i seem to focus on how i failed. and at the end of snow days, the list is long. the expectations seem so high (from them AND me) and i couldn't possibly measure up. {story of my life. ugh.} but i still try. with all my might.

here are a few of the *good* moments from our snow days. there are plenty of not-pictured moments...crying. complaining. hours of chores. disciplining. hours at the gym to keep my sanity.

i like to let them sleep in til they wake up. which is still pretty early, but it's always a good feeling to sleep until YOUR body is ready to wake up, right?
gave them poptarts in their stockings at christmas. finally pulled them out for breakfast one day. {and cringed the whole time they were eating them. and they were ALL hungry an hour later. good lesson for them! our usual breakfast night not taste as *yummy* but it stays with you longer!}
7 Wonders is the current FAV game. played all day every day.
lots of friends over. at the moment, our house is the place to be and i love it. {although i did put my foot down yesterday and it was JUST us. mostly because one child was causing SO much havoc, that is was embarrassing to his other siblings when they had friends over. but i also just needed a break from other kids for a day.}
surprised their little heads off by taking them to McD's for lunch yesterday. and cringed the whole time at that, too :-) but loved the joy it gave them!
snack: snow ice cream.

seems like our snow days are mostly about fun junk food. i hope it's not really that. ha! i do ADORE my kids and love to be with them. it's just challenging for this routine, introvert of a mom.

come on, spring!! :-)


i can't believe God gave me a sister that is also one of my dearest friends. goodness, i love her more as time goes on! what a gift!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

visitors from Haiti!

last week we had visitors from haiti! but first, we had snow days ALLLL week. the kids only went to school 1 day and that day was a 2 hour delay! these kids don't even know HOW to go to school.
wednesday, pastor Francois and his wife, Madou came!!! from Haiti!! they are the couple that run the orphanage/school/church that we visited this past October. i picked them up from the airport and just couldn't get over the fact that they were in OUR HOUSE!! i had butterflies all day until we got to see them!
meals with them are nice and long...because Francois talks and talks. his stories are incredible...full of ways God has proven Himself faithful in amazing ways in his life. you just can't get enough of hearing from him.
he was practicing his reading. she was practicing her English :-)
Francois' english is very good...but Madou hardly speaks any English.
we shared them with the other couple that went to Haiti with us for a couple of the days...but they stayed at our house each night.

i'm not a "touchy" person. but i couldn't stop hugging her. she's such an amazing woman...full of strength and humility and love.

i took them one morning to a fabric store to buy sewing supplies for the sewing center she runs. it was quite a and my 6 kids. and a couple from haiti that are completely overwhelmed with all the choices in this one store. whew. it was quite the trip.

Friday evening, our Bible study came over and got to hear from them.

saturday we woke up to a snowstorm bearing down on us. we had big plans for them that day...but they weren't made to be. everything got cancelled. 

pat was able to take Francois out and get him a couple things he wanted.
and then we took them to lunch at Panera. they could NOT get over the snow! that the ROADS were white. seeing the snowplows. when i ATE some snow (they didn't want any...they don't even like ice in their drinks!)

i loved it when i turned around to hold the door open for them at Panera, and they were holding hands. they are SO cute!
that evening, we hosted an Open House for them...for people that had been to Haiti previously and for people that wanted to meet them. the weather prevented some people from coming, but we still had quite a few! one family even WALKED 2 1/2 miles to come because their road wasn't plowed! (we offered to come pick them up...but they wanted the adventure :-))

going to our church was one of the main reasons he was here. but we woke up sunday morning to the news that church was cancelled. BOO! we were all so disappointed. but we decided to watch a sermon of our pastor's online. and had church at home.
more friends came over the visit with them for lunch...{i'm so sad pat and i don't have a picture with them like this!}
sunday afternoon, there was a youth meeting at church to let the kids get out of the house...and Francois and Madou went to that. he spoke to the kids and spoke GREAT truth into them. he is SUCH a gift!

early monday morning, we drove them to the airport. the next couple days, our home felt very empty. their presence is BIG and powerful. they exude the BIG God that we serve. it was such a blessing and honor for our family to have this experience to have them in our home. and some of the Cassada's are going to see them again real soon....

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

bailey's musical

well, it wasn't HER musical, but to our family it was :-)
she had a PART (most of the kids did. but we won't tell her that.) and she was BEYOND excited for WEEKS.

she was "water" - with 3 other friends. it was a really, really cute musical.

it sure was fun watching her up on stage! she BEAMED!

{thanks to my mom for ALL these pictures!}

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

lent begins.

"Darkness wants us to live our lives worn out. Rest is holy. Get some." Bob Goff

on the morning of the first day of Lent...the next 46 days are days to press hard into Him. this season has become so sweet to me...I've been aching for it for weeks. it's like i put on a special pair of glasses and my heart sees things more clearly. today didn't go how i wanted...on the outside or in my heart...because...LIFE. but this morning, after running, my kids were still sleeping (and they could cause NO sCHOOL) i read the Word a bit more...then i snuggled in under some blankets and rested for an hour. i didn't strive and get a jumpstart on my to do list. i rested. and all day my heart enjoyed thinking back on that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

valentines day. finally.

 in the middle of a snowstorm. 2 days after valentines day. we finally got out for a little date. my valentine's day night was spent with a friend that needed friends around her. but pat was persistent and we carved out some time for us. it was GOOD. we've had some hard days lately. marriage is HARD. but it's worth fighting for. and we will. we will fight HARD.

we got kicked out of 2 places, because they both decided to close early. but we still managed to get some good conversation in, and some things shared from our hearts, and came home feeling lighter and ready to tackle whatever is next!